11 April 2018
Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School Newsletter #2
Our Tech School is growing every day; the building works has begun in earnest, our programs are developing and most importantly, our students are becoming central to the development of what is a very exciting learning community. Below is just a snapshot of just some of the activities being undertaken and I’d also like to take a moment to thank all the people working hard to make this happen. It’s truly humbling to be part of this tremendous opportunity for young people in our area.

Marc Blanks
Executive Director Banyule Nillumbik & Whittlesea Tech Schools

Chat- Bot- athon Film Clip 


Our Chat-bot-athon has caused a bit of a stir and if you view our Twitter Feed @banyulenillumTS you will see a bit of excitement! The little film that was created has been very popular and we encourage you to share it!  It really captures some of the key elements of our Tech School principles, including cross school, cross age groupings and working directly with industry. Already students are asking when we are doing the next one!

View the clip on our YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/HfmUCU3hIbg

Student Agency Leadership Day

The first Student Agency Group meeting took place on the 18th September at Ikon Park.  The day was kindly supported by Adrian Asdagi and the Carlton Football Club who opened their doors to give the students a view into the world of STEM and Leadership in professional sport. The students were able to see the facilities and also listen to Emily Pilling (General Manager- Consumer & Marketing) and Tom Kempton (Sport Science Manager) who shared their experiences and advice with the group.
The students formed groups to plan the Industry Bus Tour and the Mini Maker Faire.  There was much enthusiasm and great ideas involved, with some students wanting to continue planning the events when they got home!
We have made a short film to share the occasion and will continue to document the events as they unfold.


Learning Incubator #2

On Wednesday 18th and Thursday the 19th of October we ran our second Learning Incubator. Building on the work done in the Learning Design Incubator One, our Tech School Teacher Ambassadors returned together to take our inquiries to the next level and expand the network.
The focus of this event was to further iterate our learning design model on day one and test it in day two with a group of students.  The group revisited design thinking as a construct to frame learning and human centric problem solving.  Also explored was the SOLO taxonomy to ensure that surface content knowledge and deep learning (or abstract extended) in achieved throughout the process. The challenge given to out Teacher Ambassadors was to develop one of the inquiry prototypes we formulated through Incubator One and create a learning sequence for the students to engage in during day two to use design thinking to formulate a prototype solution to a problem.
Guided by the teacher ambassadors the students tackled problems such as food waste and drugs in sports.  In doing this there were some inventive prototypes designed including a machine that recycles used coffee grounds, a self-sorting waste system that integrates with garbage trucks, a campaign to incentivize students to recycle, nanobots to detect drug use in athletes and a multi phased campaign program to raise awareness of food waste.
The activities designed by the Teacher Ambassadors demonstrated the potential of our learning design model to challenge and help students think and learn in different ways.  Also, the reflections of the teachers indicated the ability of the students to progress the learning themselves.  Feedback from one student was that they felt that they had some good ideas to take back to their school to implement, which is high praise indeed!
Overall, it was an exciting and insightful event that really highlighted the strength and potential of the learning community we are creating together.

Principals Industry Bus Tour

The industry bus tour is shaping up well.  It has been designed to take partner school principals on a behind the scenes excursion into some of the innovative and developing industries of the North of Melbourne.  This year’s bus tour will explore our future Industry focus of the medical, social and pharmaceutical fields, with some of our key health providers at Northern Health and The Austin opening their doors.  The tour will be facilitated by our Tech School Student Ambassadors.  Our industry bus tour will take place on the 29th November and principals will be receiving a very special invitation soon from students.

Construction Update

Demolition has begun on the site and you may have noticed that some of the trees have been removed and formwork poured.  The cypress trees removed were in poor health, however we were able to retain the healthy poplar trees that will grace our interior courtyard.  The existing ground floor structure has been demolished and with some engineering work to secure a section structurally it has been a positive process.  The upper courtyard has been cleared out and presents a dramatically different aspect, opening the space up.  It will present a grand entrance to the Tech School and also function as an excellent space for events and learning activities.
An adjustment to the design has created an improvement! The LED lights around the windows on the exterior of the building have proved to be problematic in implementation with challenges they present around the integrity of water proofing the building and also maintenance and longevity.  As an alternative, we have decided to install the required infrastructure to be able to project on the walks of the building itself. This will involve a portable system to project on the white exterior for special occasions and also present the opportunity to be able to project on the substantial wall in the upper courtyard.  This could add an exciting element to night time exhibitions and events as a little bit of White Night comes to Greensborough!
A virtual walkthrough of the Tech School can be found on our YouTube Channel through this link below: https://youtu.be/mo4QClBZ0_A